It’s No Huge Secret that I Dislike Vendors Having Access to a Dealership’s DMS Computers. The majority of Companies Rooting Around in the Dealers DMS are Stealing Your Customer Data, Transaction Data, and even Financial Data.


Let’s Face it, Most Vendors Accessing the Dealership’s Computers are Up To No Good. What They are Doing Betrays the Dealers and The Customers that Buy the Cars Thinking Their Data and Information are Secure. Nobody I know told Us, Hey I’m Buying a Car from You, Would You Please Give All My Personal Identity Information to Edmunds, Or to JD Power, or any Jack-Wagon that you Do Business With. NOPE: It’s a Crime That We Allow So Many Vendors Who Have Proven Evil Intent to Raid Our Customer Data.


BUT: On the Other Hand… There are Some Vendors That Have a Legitimate Need to Access The Dealership DMS to Perform Services the Dealership Wants and Needs. Here’s Where it Gets Crazy. Our DMS Providers are Supposed to Be Serving US the Dealer-Customers, Right? BUT: What is Happening in Reality is that Some of Them are Charging Vendors Exorbitant High-High-High Fees to Access Your Information – That You Gave Them Permission to Access Because you need Their Services.


The Reason Some of These DMS Companies Are Raping the Other Vendors with These High Fees for Access, So They Can try to Sell the Dealerships Their Own INFERIOR Services. In other words, For Example, Nearly HALF of What Some Dealers are Paying for Their CRM Providers Is to Cover the Outlandishly  High Fees the DMS Company is Holding Up for Your CRM to Gain Access. This is a Thinly Veiled Attempt for the DMS Provider to make you Buy Their Bullshit Poor Quality CRM in Some Cases By Driving Up the Other Guy’s Costs.


I Am Totally Against Most Vendors That Want DMS Access for Reasons That Do Not Benefit The Dealers if all They Are Doing is Stealing Data. BUT, I Am Even More Against any DMS provider that Hires More Attorneys Than They have programmers on Staff.  #AlphaDawg 

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Comment by Mark Dubis on August 11, 2015 at 12:54pm

Just as a consumer wants transparency from a dealer, dealers need to have transparency from their vendors who have access to their DMS.  Until a dealer sees exactly what data is taken, how it is being used, and knows who will have access to it, they need to lock down their system. 

I personally like the DealerVault program which gives control of their data back to the dealer. Rather than vendors going into the system, DV pushes data the dealer wants to share to authorized vendors.  Dealers pay a few hundred bucks a month but since vendors are getting the data from DV they do not have to use direct or indirect third party companies like Digital Motor Works, etc.

Our company like most major auto retail vendors, is a DealerVault vendor and it allows us to provide seamless service and a streamlined. secure way to help the dealer and protect their data. 

The major DMS vendors have their own agenda and it is not always aligned with the best interests of their clients. Dealers who buy into the "one throat to choke" philosophy of these vendors are doing themselves a great disservice.


While reading many posts of our industry experts I note they are quick to jump on bad vendors  but rarely will they highlight and bring attention to vendors that provide good value to auto retailers.  Hopefully that will change.

Comment by David T. Gould on August 10, 2015 at 6:10pm

Logic does not work with this argument... IF it did there would be no TrueCar, CarFax and the like. History has proven dealers don't care until their feet (or cash) are in the fire.

IN MY OPINION, the advancement of technology has outpaced the average American business owner resulting in their loss of control of their own businesses... Technology companies leach onto (into) businesses and force them, through data manipulation, to accept terms they set with no product value added. The cost in BILLIONS of dollars to those businesses and our economy is sickening. JZ's drum beat goes on... but as only as a faint thump today vs. the past. 

Comment by Brian Bennington on August 5, 2015 at 5:42am

Here you are again, 'Dawg, reminding those of us who see folly in dealers "sharing" data, that you're "on point," unyielding in your beliefs, and our "first warning" if things get worse.  It's dangerous, though.  All of those lawyers the providers can unleash make it that way.  One wrong move and they'll be on you "like flies on a cow patty."  And, unfortunately, in 21st century justice, the business with the best barristers usually wins.

Thanks Alpha Dawg.  It was a great read, oozing with the passion and logic that make you such a powerful advocate.  One last thing.  I've got a question for you.  How is it that while a dealership can sell a customer a car, they just can't seem to get that same customer to give them a good referral?   

Comment by James A. Ziegler on July 30, 2015 at 10:42am

Edmunds is a "No-Brainer" ... If you believe they are your friends, then you have No Brain.

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